Twitch has been on a roll with its latest promotions, from introducing a new cooking channel with a Julia Child The French Chef marathon, to partnering to create a new Rocket League eSports tournament. Now, the livestreaming service is turning its attention to mobile eSports.
The company has announced a partnership with developer Super Evil Megacorp to build a new eSports framework over the next three years, all based around the hit mobile game Vainglory, which has amassed over 150 million minutes watched on the streaming channel in the past year. The recent Winter Championships also drew in a record audience, with over 1.5 million viewers.
As part of the partnership, a new tournament is underway, with three-person teams competing in the Spring Championship for a chance to win part of an $80,000 prize pool.
This is a phenomenal deal for not only Twitch and Super Evil Megacorp, but mobile gaming in general. With that, [a]listdaily sat down with Twitch’s director of eSports operations, Nick Allen, to get more insight behind the partnership and what kind of impact it’s expected to make.
First Rocket League and now Vainglory. How do you decide on the right business partners for eSports tournaments?
It’s a combination of a few things: the game being great, the game’s community being strong and its desire for competition, and the developer’s appetite to make design and business decisions with competitive gameplay in mind.
Twitch has been working with Super Evil Megacorp in the past at events like PAX East. What prompted your team to enter into a full eSports partnership with the company? Does this mean we’ll see even stronger promotion for the game at events?
After working with Kristian and SEMC for a few months around Vainglory and their events, we saw the company continuing to invest and make good decisions toward building a competitive culture around their game. Combined with how the game was growing and its amazing community, we both agreed we should take our relationship to the next level. One of main goals for this partnership is the overall growth of Vainglory, which means getting as many eyeballs on it as possible. With that in mind, you’ll see more promotion!
What does Twitch think about the way the Vainglory community has grown over the years?
The game has been around for about a year and frankly, before Vainglory, mobile first eSports didn’t exist. In the short time it’s been around, we’ve seen rapid growth on Twitch, which is very exciting.
Mobile is wide open right now. There are considerably more touch screens in the world than PCs, meaning the opportunity for growth is that much higher–meaning this partnership could turn a corner for not just mobile eSports, but eSports as a whole.
Will Vainglory have a big presence at this year’s TwitchCon event in San Diego?
We’re still figuring out what TwitchCon will entail this year, so it’s too early to say!
Do you think we’ll see more of a growth in mobile eSports over the next few years, or will console/PC based titles continue to be the top draws?
Given that there are over three billion touchscreen devices and only around 800 million gaming PCs, mobile eSports definitely has the potential to become a leader in the space.